[8 April 2008]

I had another bad dream last night. Enrique came back.

“I don’t think you liked Cheney very much. Or Eric van der Vlist, either, judging from his comment. So I’ve written another conforming XSD 1.0 processor, in a different vein.” He handed me a piece of paper which read:

echo "Input not accepted; unknown format."

“This is Caspar,”

“Caspar as in Weinberger?”

“Hauser. As you can see, Caspar doesn’t have the security features of Cheney, but it’s also conforming.”

I should point out for readers who have not encountered the figure of Kaspar Hauser that he was a mysterious young man found in Nuremberg in the 1820s, raised allegedly without language or human contact, who never quite found a way to fit into society, and is thus a convenient focal point for meditations on language and civilization by artists as diverse as Werner Herzog, Paul Verlaine, and Elizabeth Swados.

“Conforming? I don’t think I want to know why you think so.”

“Oh, sure you do. Don’t be such a wet blanket.”

“I gather you’re going to tell me anyway. OK, if there’s no way out of it, let’s get this over with. Why do you think Caspar is a conforming XSD processor?”

“I’m not required to accept XML, right? Because that, in the logic of the XSD 1.0 spec, would impede my freedom to accept input from a DOM or from a sequence of SAX events. And I’m not required to accept any other specific representation of the infoset. And I’m also not required to document the formats I do accept.”

“There don’t seem to be any conditionals here: it looks at first glance as if Caspar doesn’t support any input formats.” (Enrique, characteristically sloppy, seems to have thought that Hauser was completely alingual and thus could not understand anything at all. That’s not so. But I didn’t think it was worth my time, even during a bad dream, to argue with Enrique over the name of his program.)

“Right. Caspar understands no input formats at all. I love XSD 1.0; I could write conforming XSD 1.0 processors all day; I don’t understand why some people find it difficult!”